Local SEO is all the rage with businesses and search engines. A local link building strategy takes time to execute, but the traffic you’ll receive will grow exponentially. Over time, your only problem will be responding to all the leads you generate!
Why You Need To Build Backlinks…
Backlinks build authority with search engines and still account for a major percentage of the overall SEO ranking algorithm. The more frequently your domain is connected to great content that’s being shared, the more often your business will appear in search results. When other entities endorse your pages with a link, it tells search engines that your content is trusted, legitimate, and of value to users. It’s the best way to dominate local SERP’s!
Searching for relevant link building opportunities isn’t really as hard as it sounds. Even if you aren’t an SEO expert, any business owner can follow this handy strategy to get started:
Create Great Content.
It all starts with your content. No one wants to share poor content, right? If you focus on producing unique content that is:
- a) informative
- b) helpful to users
- c) relevant
Then the search engines will index your content, and you’ll show up in search results. Choose keywords strategically to maximize the impact of every article. Popular keywords have more competition, while less frequently used terms can be a potentially overlooked source of traffic.
Share Your Content For Free.
Make the information and resources you provide available for free. Instead of monetizing your blog, invest in a lead generation tool that can help capture and convert visitors into leads. Offer users a lead magnet (ie, a free guide, handbook, tutorial) in exchange for their subscription or contact information.
Once you’ve got great SEO content, and you’ve been producing consistently, you can begin researching online for distribution channels. Your content needs a distribution channel. Hitting ‘publish’ on your blog doesn’t actually bring traffic to you. You’ll need to post your content in as many relevant online forums, groups and social media sites you can find.
Google is a great place to start your research. Google keywords users might use to find helpful information. Check out the major platforms and review the statistics on active users, demographic, engagement, etc. in detail.
Experiment with keywords, or use a keyword research tool to uncover URL’s that would be relevant to your business. Feel free to be creative during the process. The point is to explore what’s currently available to your audience already, and join as many of those conversations as you can.
Potential sources for links:
Reach out to business owners in your area or neighborhood. If you’re a freelancer, reach out to other freelancers you know. Offer to host a feature article about their business on your own blog, then promote it together. Together, you can help generate an online buzz as you feature other local businesses who share it in their circles. It’s a win-win for everybody!
Blog Writers and Journalists
Blog writers and professional journalists are always looking for great content to help build their audience too. By featuring other writers, they’re able to add variety to their own platforms and attract new readers who may become subscribers. Reach out to the most local writers first, where you’ll likely find the most relevant users. But don’t be shy to reach out to experts as well if you have faith in your content. An endorsement or a shout-out from a respected influencer means you’re in good company.
Social Media Platforms
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube – we all know who the heavy-hitters of social media are. But you don’t have to be on all of them! Each platform attracts different users for different reasons. Find out who actually uses each of these platforms by researching social media statistics. Explore them based on the audience you’re targeting and go where the conversations are happening.
Local Print Publications with a Website or Blog
Is there a local paper you read and enjoy? Check out their website. Find out if they’re looking for great content that would be helpful to their readers. Re-purpose and share your archived content or create something original for the publication. If they’ve got a website, they need great content too, so be persistent and always seek out the highest decision maker – usually the editor.
Local Online Meetup Groups
If you’re not already on Meetup.com, stop reading this and go register NOW! Seriously, meetup.com has been around for 14 years, and is one of the most popular online tools for organizing offline social events. Group organizers pay a nominal fee and receive customized, web-based control of their group.
Members can join as many groups as they like for free. Whether you decide to start a group or join an existing one, you can discover plenty of local enthusiasts, hobbyists, experts and professional groups that would appreciate your content.
Everyone and their pet, it seems, is on Facebook. Type in the relevant keywords and use the Facebook search engine to find groups you can join. Create a spreadsheet, then copy and paste the URL’s you find in a master document for easy referencing later. You can spend one day a week focusing on content for all the Facebook groups you join. You might consider using HootSuite to help you manage all your posts!
LinkedIn doesn’t have as many active users as Facebook or YouTube, but its members are strictly professionals. If you’re looking to connect with local industry experts, there’s a good chanced they’re already on LinkedIn. Members can post content, join groups, instant message, job search, and a host of other features. You won’t have a problem finding local experts who want great content and more exposure for their business!
Keep An Eye on Your Backlinks
Lastly, you’ll want to track and monitor your backlinks with a software tool like SEMRush or Moz. As your backlinks grow, you need to track who else is linking to your content so you can maintain a clean link profile with search engines.
And there you have it, a beginner’s guide to building backlinks. For more great advice, follow Paul Teitelman, Toronto’s link building expert & connect with me on LinkedIn as well!